Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
|Shahid Khaqan Abbasi|
|Prime Minister of Pakistan|
1 August 2017
|Preceded by||Nawaz Sharif|
|Minister for Energy|
4 August 2017
|Preceded by||Himself (Petroleum and Natural Resources)
Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Water and Power)
|Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources|
7 June 2013 – 28 July 2017
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Asim Hussain|
|Succeeded by||Himself (Energy)|
|Minister for Commerce|
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
|Prime Minister||Yousaf Raza Gillani|
|Preceded by||Humayun Akhtar Khan|
|Succeeded by||Ameen Faheem|
|Chair of the Pakistan International Airlines|
27 December 1997 – 12 October 1999
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Farooq Umar|
|Succeeded by||Ahmad Saeed|
|Born||(1958-12-27) 27 December 1958
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League (N)|
|Relatives||Khaqan Abbasi (Father)
Sadia Abbasi (Sister)
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles
George Washington University
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has a 29-year experience of mainstream politics and is a foreign-qualified Electrical Engineer. He holds Master’s degree from George Washington University, USA and a bachelor degree in the same discipline from University of California, Los Angeles besides his early education in Karachi and Murree.
The 58-year-old he was nominated by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz as its candidate for the slot of Prime Minister after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif on July 28, 2017. He was the Petroleum Minister in his cabinet. He entered politics in 1988 after the death of his father, Khaqan Abbasi, an air commodore of Pakistan Air Force and a Minister in the cabinet of General Zia ul Haq. He has been elected six times as Member of National Assembly from Rawalpindi District, from 1988 till 2013.
Earlier he held position as Parliamentary Secretary for Defence in 1990, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence in 1993, Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999 besides briefly holding position of Commerce Minister.
Early life and education
Abbasi was born on 27 December 1958 in Karachi, Pakistan, to Khaqan Abbasi.According to DAWN, he was born in his hometown of Murree in Rawalpindi District, Punjab.
Abbasi was educated in Karachi before enrolling at the Lawrence College in Murree. In 1978, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, to study electrical engineering from where he attained his bachelor’s degree and began his career as an electrical engineer. In 1985, he attended the George Washington University, and gained a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
After graduating from George Washington University, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi became a professional electrical engineer. He worked in the United States during the 1980s, before moving to Saudi Arabia where he joined the oil and gas industry and became involved in energy projects.
Early political career
Abbasi’s political career began after the death of his father Khaqan Abbasi in 1988. In May 1988, President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq sacked the government of his handpicked Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, and prematurely dissolved the National Assembly of Pakistan. Consequently, new parliamentary elections were called for 16 November 1988. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ran for the seat of National Assembly from the Constituency NA-36 (Rawalpindi-I), the seat previously held by his father until his death and was successfully elected with 47,295 votes as an independent candidate. He acquired the Rawalpindi’s National Assembly seat for the first time at the age of 30 by defeating both, Raja Zafar ul Haq, a candidate of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Raja Muhammad Anwar, by narrow margin. After winning the election, he joined the IJI which was newly founded in September 1988 by then Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence to counter PPP. His tenure as Member of the National Assembly terminated after the National Assembly was dissolved prematurely in August 1990 following the dismissal of the government of Benazir Bhutto by then President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ran for a seat of National Assembly
New parliamentary elections were called for 24 October 1990. Abbasi ran for a National Assembly seat as a candidate of IJI and was successfully re-elected from Constituency NA-36 (Rawalpindi-I). He bagged 80,305 votes against 54,011 votes of PPP candidate Raja Muhammad Anwar. Upon the victory of IJI in the 1990 national election, he was made Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, a post he retained until his tenure as Member of the National Assembly was terminated after the dissolution of the National Assembly in April 1993 due to the dismissal of the Nawaz Sharif government by then President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
New snap elections were called for 6 October 1993, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ran for a seat of National Assembly as a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML (N)) and was successfully re-elected for the third time from Constituency NA-36 (Rawalpindi-I) in Pakistani general elections, 1993. He secured 76,596 votes against the candidate of PPP, Colonel (retired) Habib Khan who bagged 45,173 votes. As Member of the National Assembly, he performed his duties as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of National Assembly on Defense. His tenure as Member of the National Assembly was terminated after the dissolution of the National Assembly in 1996 due to the dismissal of the Benazir Bhutto government by then President of Pakistan Farooq Leghari.
After new parliamentary elections were called for 3 February 1997, Abbasi ran for a seat of National Assembly as a candidate of the PML (N) and was successfully retained his seat from Constituency NA-36 (Rawalpindi-I) for the fourth tim. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi defeated Pakistan Muslim League (J) canadiaite, Babar Awan and an independent candidate Javed Iqbal Satti by securing 65,194 votes. His party, PML-N, won a clear majority in the National Assembly for the first time. That same year, he was appointed as the chairman of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. His tenure as the Chairman of PIA was terminated following the 1999 Pakistani coup d’état, during which then-Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf, overthrew Nawaz Sharif and his existing elected government. He along with Nawaz Sharif was named in the infamous plane hijacking case. National Assembly was abolished, consequently ending the Abbasi’s membership of the National Assembly. Charges were leveled up against him for denying the landing of Musharraf’s PIA plane at the Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on his way back from Sri Lanka on 12 October 1999 and held responsible for conspiring with Nawaz Sharif to kill Pervez Musharraf. He was forced to provide a testimonial statement against Nawaz Sharif for the hijacking case, but he refused to release the statement. He was also pressured by Pakistan Army to switch allegiance from Nawaz Sharif, however he refused. He stood a military Judge Advocate General court, which announced his arrest. He remained in jail for two years before he was released by the court in March 2001. By then, Nawaz Sharif had gone into exile in Saudi Arabia. In 2008, He in an interview claimed Musharraf himself took control of the plane in 1999. As chairman of PIA, he was accused of ₨11 million corruption in the purchase of 200 computers for the airline, however he was acquitted in 2008 as prosecution failed to prove charges levelled against him.
General elections were held on 10 October 2002 under Pervez Musharraf to elect the National Assembly. Abbasi ran for a seat of the National Assembly from Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi) as a candidate of the PML (N), but was unsuccessful for the first time after he lost to Ghulam Murtaza Satti, a candidate of PPP. He came second to incumbent Ghulam Murtaza Satti by 63,797 votes (37.21%) to 74,259 (43.31%). He indicated that exile of Nawaz Sharif disappointed the people due to which PML (N) only won 19 out of 342 seats in the National Assembly. People from his constituency claim he contested the election unwillingly due to which he lost it. After his defeat, he distanted himself from politics and turn his focus on Airblue Limited which he founded in 2003. He served as its first chairman until 2007 and then went on to become its chief operating officer. According to BBC Urdu, he had close contacts with Shujaat Hussain, leader of then rulling party, and from whom Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gained support for his airline.
After Nawaz Sharif return to Pakistan from exile in Saudi Arabia in 2007, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi joined him and ran for a seat in the National Assembly in general election held on 18 February 2008 as a candidate of the PML (N) and was successfully re-elected for the fifth time with 99,987 votes from Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi).The election resulted in a hung parliament where PPP had secured the largest seats in the National Assembly and PML (N), second largest. After the formation of a coalition government between PPP and PML (N) with Yousaf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister of Pakistan, He was inducted into the federal cabinet of Yousaf Raza Gillani with the status of a federal minister in March 2008 and was appointed as the Minister for Commerce however, he resigned from the ministerial office after PML (N) left the PPP led coalition government in May 2008 to lead the movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf and to restore judiciary.
After the completion of five-year PPP government, election was scheduled for 11 May 2013. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ran for a seat of the National Assembly as a candidate of the PML (N) and successfully retained his seat from Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi) for the sixth time with 134,439 votes. Upon the victory of PML (N) in the 2013 national election, he was inducted into the federal cabinet and was appointed as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources. During his tenure as Minister for Petroleum, he introduced Liquefied Natural Gas terminal and importation of gas in Pakistan to control the shortage of gas in the country. He was credited for taking the measures which helped Pakistan overcome gas shortage issues. In 2015, he was accused for issuing illegal contracts worth ₨220 billion (US$2.1 billion) for the import and distribution of Liquefied Natural Gas without proper bidding process after which the National Accountability Bureau registered a case and began an investigation. However the case was closed in 2016 after it was found that all rules were followed during procurement and the bidding process to award contract was transparent. The Express Tribune described the LNG project as successful and one of the cheapest regasification in the world. He also denied the corruption allegations. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had ceased to hold ministerial office of Petroleum and Natural Resources on 28 July 2017 when the cabinet of Nawaz Sharif was disbanded following his resignation after the Panama Papers case decision.
On 1 August 2017, Abbasi was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan by the National Assembly, defeating his rival Naveed Qamar of PPP, by 221 votes to 47. Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement also supported his election. Addressing to the National Assembly after election as Prime Minister, he said “I may be here for 45 days or 45 hours, but I’m not here to keep the seat warm. I intend to work and get some important things done.” On that same day, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister in an oath-taking ceremony at Presidency Palace. After he took charge of the prime ministerial office, it was decided by Nawaz Sharif that Shehbaz Sharif will remain in Punjab while Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to continue as Prime Minister of Pakistan until the 2018 general election due to held in June 2018. According to Rana Sanaullah Khan, PML (N) senior leadership feared that abandonment of the post of Chief Ministership of Punjab by Shahbaz Sharif would weaken the party’s hold in the country’s most populous province which has strong 183 out of total 342 seats in the National Assembly and play a crucial role in determining the future government in Pakistan.
After assuming the office as the Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in consultation with the outgoing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, formed his cabinet comprising 43 members. Of the 43 ministers sworn in on 4 August 2017, 27 were federal ministers and, 16 were ministers of state.] Except 16, all of the cabinet members were part of the last cabinet of Nawaz Sharif, most of whom retained their previous portfolios. The cabinet was criticised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf over its large size however it was praised by The Nation. Reuters described the cabinet of Abbasi “appears aimed at bolstering support ahead of 2018 general election.” In order to improve the governance and efficiency of the government and to accommodate newly inducted cabinet members, He created seven new ministries including an overdue Ministry of Energy which was praised. The second part of his cabinet, consisted 2 federal ministers and 2 ministers of state, was sworn in on 10 August 2017 thus increasing the size of the cabinet to its maximum limit of 47. On 13 August 2017, his cabinet was further expanded after he appointed six advisers. The next day, five special assistants for Prime Minister were appointed thus increasing the cabinet size to 58. He justified the large size of his cabinet saying that “he had limited experience of running the affairs of the government, and therefore required more ministers, advisers and special assistants.” Two more advisors were added to the federal cabinet on 23 August 2017.
Abbasi appointed Khawaja Muhammad Asif as a full-time Minister for Foreign Affairs which was for the first time since PML (N) came into power in 2013 general election. The appointment of a full-time Foreign Affair’s Minister was welcomed by Pakistan Today and Daily Times. Previously, Nawaz Sharif held the portfolio of the Minister for Foreign Affairs with himself and was criticised for not appointing full-fledged Foreign Minister. He also inducted a Hindu parliamentarian Darshan Punshi into the federal cabinet, which was for the first time in more than 20 years. He kept with himself the cabinet portfolios of Ministry of Planning and Development and the newly created Ministry of Energy. On 11 August 2017, he took charge of Economic Coordination Committee as chairman after removing Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar.
As Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Karachi on 12 August 2017 and pledged ₨25 billion (US$240 million) and ₨5 billion (US$47 million) for Karachi and Hyderabad, respectively for infrastructure development. After the announcement of new policy on Afghanistan by United States President Donald Trump in which he accused and criticised Pakistan for supporting state terrorism, Abbasi in his capacity as Prime Minister made his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia on 23 August 2017 where he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to discuss the new U.S. policy and to further strengthening the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, with Pakistan’s relationship with the United States strained.
Family and personal life
Abbasi belongs to a family from Kahuta. However he hails from Dewal village. He belongs to the Dhund Abbasi clan, which is predominant in northern Punjab.
Abbasi is married and has three sons. His father, Khaqan Abbasi, was an air commodore in the Pakistan Air Force. He entered politics and became Member of the National Assembly and was inducted as the Federal Minister for Production in the cabinet of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, until his death in 1988 at Ojhri Camp – a military accident that resulted in more than 100 casualties. His brother, Zahid Abbasi, was also injured in that incident after which he went into coma and died in 2005, having remained bedridden for 17 years. His sister Sadia Abbasi has been a member of the Senate of Pakistan. His father-in-law, General Muhammad Riaz Abbasi, was the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1977 to 1979.
shahid khaqan abbasi net worth
shahid khaqan abbasi net worth is ₨2.3 billion (US$22 million).
Abbasi is a businessman and a known aviation expert in Pakistan. Reportedly, he is the owner of Airblue which he founded in 2003 however he has denied being a current stakeholder, saying he has not visited the airline’s office for years. He is one of the richest parliamentarians in Pakistan, with a net worth of ₨1.3 billion (US$12 million) to ₨2.3 billion (US$22 million). His assets include shares in Airblue, a house in Islamabad, a restaurant business, and land properties in Murree. He is also an aviation enthusiast and an amateur skydiver. He is the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to participate in a Pakistan Air Force mission and fly in a F-16 Fighting Falcon. According to DAWN, he is a reserved and media-shy person.